Michael Gianaris's News items

LIC High says no to closure

The Times Ledger reports on the rally held outside Long Island City High School, where students, parents, teachers, and elected officials gathered to protest the proposed closure and "turnaround" of the school.

More than a hundred students, teachers and supporters stood out on the steps of Long Island City High School Monday afternoon to protest the proposed closure of the institution.

 

“This is not something that we want and we’re not going to let it happen without a fight,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), an alumnus of the school.

 

April 18, 2012
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Albany, land of legal scandals

The New York Daily News talks about the lawsuit challenging the Senate Republicans' proposal to add a 63rd state Senate seat and describes how the addition of a seat is flagrantly biased. Although a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice called the Senate Republicans' proposal "disturbing," he declared there was not enough evidence to prove that the scheme was illegal. Senator Gianaris says that State Democrats maintain the proposal is unconstitutional, which is why they have appealed the judges ruling.

Congratulations to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Braun for boiling everything that’s wrong with New York’s poisonous politics down to the essence.

 

April 18, 2012
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JetBlue moves to Queens Plaza

The Times Ledger talks about JetBlue's move to a new office located in Long Island City's Brewster Building. Senator Gianaris joined other elected officials at the ribbon-cutting of the new corporate office.

Two long-awaited changes came to Queens Plaza last week as the recently completed park near 29th Street was named “Dutch Kills Green” and airline company JetBlue opened its new Long Island City office a few blocks away.

 

“What a terrific day in the ongoing renaissance in the Queensboro Plaza area,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said. 

 

Read the full article here.

April 18, 2012
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Sex Attack Suspect Sought

The Queens Gazette investigates the recent attack on a 30-year old woman in Sunnyside by a man who is suspected to be involved in similar attacks in Jackson Heights.

Queens detectives are trying to determine if a man who stalked and groped a 30-year-old Sunnyside woman early Sunday morning, is the same suspect sought in connection with a series of recent attacks in Jackson Heights.

 

The victim in the Easter Sunday attack told investigators the man followed her when she exited a nearby No. 7 train at about 5:45 a.m. on April 8.

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April 18, 2012
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New statistics show Queens’ population is growing rapidly

The New York Daily News discusses flawed reporting by the U.S. Census Bureau, which came to light after recent population statistics for Queens showed a much larger population increase than the numbers reported by the Census.

Recent Queens population statistics show the borough is growing despite a lackluster showing in the 2010 Census.

 

Officials say the new numbers boost their claim the Census count was flawed.

 

From April 2010 to July 2011, the population of Queens grew by 17,126, according to data released last week but the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

The new figures place the population of Queens at 2,247,848.

 

April 11, 2012
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Plan to close Bryant draws ire at hearing

The Queens Chronicle reports on the public hearing held in regards to Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to close down and overhaul Bryant High School, which drew a great deal of protest.

The rumblings started low at first — emanating from the football players in the middle of the room, the student government leaders perched closer to the stage and the parents dispersed throughout Bryant High School’s auditorium —and grew until loud boos drowned out a deputy schools chancellor, whose voice was no match for the hundreds of people protesting the city’s plan to shutter the institution established in 1889.

April 9, 2012
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Astoria Civic Holds Annual Scholarship Dinner Fundraiser

The Queens Gazette wrote an article covering the Astoria Civic Association's annual gala dinner for the Judge Charles J. Vallone Scholarship. Many distinguished guests were in attendance, including Senator Gianaris.

The Astoria Civic Association (ACA) held its annual gala dinner to raise funds for the Judge Charles J. Vallone Scholarship. The association honored philanthropists John and Margo Catsimatidis, CEO of Red Apple Group and president of MCV Advertising respectively. Also honored was Astoria resident and business leader Santino DiFiore. More than 300 guests were in attendance including state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. at Riccardo’s By the Bridge Catering Hall in Astoria.

 

April 9, 2012
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Community Fights To Save Bryant H.S.

An article written by The Queens Gazette reports on the rally held by Assemblymember Aravella Simotas opposing the City Department of Education's proposal to drastically alter Bryant High School. Senator Gianaris attended the rally and believes that the proposed changes will bring more harm than good.

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas held a rally at William Cullen Bryant H.S. on April 3, in opposition to the city Department of Education’s proposal to dramatically overhaul the structure of the Western Queens institution.

 

Simotas, a Bryant alumna, was joined by elected officials, community leaders as well as Bryant students, teachers and parents in calling on the city to reconsider Bryant’s designation for the Turnaround model.

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April 9, 2012
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Fuhgeddabout L.A.! New York's a booming mecca for TV and film these days

An editorial by the New York Daily News talks about the growing TV and film production business in New York City that has resulted from New York state's film tax credit. Senator Gianaris is a supporter of the film tax credit and helped bring it to fruition.

Think you’re in Hollywood? Think again.

 

These are just some of the stars filming on soundstages and streets not very far from where you live.

 

TV and film production is booming in New York City, prompting local studios large and small to increase their space to keep up with the demand.

 

April 2, 2012
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Judge set to hear suit on extra Senate seat

The Queens Campaigner reports on the lawsuit filed by citizens and state Senator Martin Dilan, which disputes the addition of a 63rd state Senate seat. Senator Gianaris is optimisitc that the lawsuit will succeed and that we will have one more chance at fair and transparent district lines.

Queens politicians expect a lawsuit challenging the creation of a 63rd state Senate seat to be decided next month, and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will then decide in which district she will run.

The suit was filed in January by a group of citizens and state Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), and if State Supreme Court Judge Richard Braun rules next month that creating an extra seat violates the state Constitution, then the lines might have to be redrawn.

March 30, 2012
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Greek Community Celebrates 191 Years Of Freedom

The Queens Gazette wrote an article about the 74th annual Greek Independence Day Parade. Senator Gianaris attended the event and was happy to see colleagues and community members participate in the celebration.

On March 25, the Greek Independence Day Parade was held along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The theme of the 74th annual parade was “Solidarity with Greece”.

 

The parade was organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York who has dedicated its resources in promoting support and solidarity for Greece, which has suffered through an economic crisis.

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March 30, 2012
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Astoria dissected by Albany redistricting: Gianaris

An article by Times Ledger discusses the new state Senate and congressional district lines, which have met criticism from lawmakers.

Astoria lawmakers said they were disappointed by the new congressional and state Senate district lines, which splits the neighborhood across two districts.

 

“The maps are horrible,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “They divide communities that should not be divided, including Astoria.”

 

Both of the new maps slice off part of the north section of Astoria above Ditmars Boulevard.

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March 30, 2012
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Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

The Queens Gazette reports on a new bill proposed by Senator Gianaris, which opposes Police Department quota requirements.

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

 

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

 

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

 

March 28, 2012
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Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide

An article by The New York Times talks about the stop-and-frisk police tactic, which has garnered significant criticism from minority lawmakers and citizens. Senator Gianaris introduced legislation with Assemblymember Camara that would make it illegal for police departments to impose quotas for a certain number of stops officers make.

ALBANY — Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

 

March 26, 2012
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Queens Celebrates Greek Independence

The Queens Gazette reports on the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day. Senator Gianaris and other elected officials attended the event, representing the proud Greek community of Queens.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall presided at the 10th annual Queens celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 16 at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria.

 

Held one week before the 191st anniversary of Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the evening’s event honored the civic achievements of four members of the Greek-American community.

 

Accompanying Marshall were state Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and City Comptroller John Liu.

March 26, 2012
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State Lawmakers, Government Watchdog Discuss Albany All-Nighter

NY1 posted a video that features Senator Gianaris and his discussion of the "Albany All-Nighter."

Watch the video here

March 19, 2012
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Grading the Redistricting Amendment

Politicker wrote an editorial about Professor Gerry Benjamin, expert on the mechanisms of government, and the C- grade he gave to the new Redistricting Amendment.

Professor Gerry Benjamin, an expert on the mechanisms of government at State University of New York at New Paltz, was asked by Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution to take a look at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s much-touted redistricting amendment and grade it point-by-point against what a truly independent amendment would look like.

 

Unsurprisingly, he found it wanting. He gave the amendment a ‘C-’ overall on an ‘A’ through ‘F’ scale.

 

March 19, 2012
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'Shove it': Senate Dems grapple with a redistricting plan they can't do anything about

An editorial posted by Capital discusses the debate between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrates over the agreed-upon redistricting lines, which Senate Democrats have strongly criticized.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a redistricting deal that his fellow Democrats in the minority of the State Senate have been criticizing as "unfair," "unconstitutional" and the "worst" in the state's history.

 

But what led them to walk out of the Senate chambers last night, ostensibly, was a Republican move to change the agreed-upon time allowed to debate the bill from four hours to two.

 

Until the walkout, the debate had been substantive, if escalatingly hostile.

 

March 19, 2012
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Wearin’ O’ The Green

The Queens Gazette posted an article about the 13th St. Pat's For All Parade in Sunnyside and Woodside, which several elected officials attented, including Senator Gianaris.

The 13th St. Pat’s For All Parade in Sunnyside and Woodside, shortened by seven to eight blocks for the second consecutive year, was held on Sunday, March 4, a day of cool temperatures and overcast skies. Skillman Avenue between 47th and 56th Streets had to be cleared of parked vehicles well before the parade was scheduled to begin. Many car owners appeared to be unaware that the parade was being held and a number of vehicles were towed to the police pound in College Point between 9 a.m. and noon.

 

March 19, 2012
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Bill would stiffen sex offender penalties

Queens Courier reports on a new bill introduced by Senator Gianaris that would strengthen penalties for repeat sex offenders.

In an effort to keep the public safe from sexual abuse, the New York State Senate has passed a bill increasing the penalty for repeat offenders.

 

The Senate has approved legislation introduced by Senator Michael Gianaris which excludes time spent in prison from the 10-year period during which the actions of a repeat sex offender are deemed “persistent sexual abuse.”

 

Under the current law, criminals who commit certain sex crimes on multiple occasions can count time they are incarcerated towards the decade-long period in which they are subject to harsher penalties.

 

March 19, 2012
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